Sunday Cubs notes:
- The Cubs are 9-9 in their first 18 games after starting last season 10-8 (and 11-8 through 19 games). The 2016 club was 13-5 through 16 games while the 2015 squad was 11-7.
- Javier Baez leads the National League with 20 RBI and a .712 slugging percentage while ranking third in the league with a 1.077 OPS.
- The Cubs have again settled at the .500 mark at 9-9, a plateau they have reached every step this season, as they have also been 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8. The Cubs have started a season in such a manner for the first time since 2011 when the club hit each .500 mark through 10-10, which is the major league record for consecutive stops at the .500 mark to begin a year. The 2011 Cubs finished 75-87. This team is better than that. It would be nice to go over .500 today... and stay there the rest of the year.
- When you’re worrying about the above, consider the current state of several other teams expected to win their divisions this year. The Nationals are 10-11, the Dodgers 9-10, the Yankees 10-9 and the Indians 10-8.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jose Quintana, LHP vs. German Marquez, RHP
Jose Quintana has made three starts this year. One was really good. In another, he gutted out six innings. The third, let’s not talk about.
The last time Quintana pitched in Coors Field was last year, in fact, his last start before he was traded to the Cubs, July 8, 2017. He threw 5⅓ innings and allowed three runs, with 10 strikeouts. That’s actually not bad for a Coors Field start against a pretty good offense. Nolan Arenado homered off him.
Quintana will get better. So will the rest of the rotation. These guys are too good to keep pitching this way for much longer.
Fun fact: Quintana needs three strikeouts today for 1,000 in his career.
German Marquez has made four starts this year. He’s gone past the fifth inning in just one of them, his last outing against the Pirates, when he went six innings and allowed just two hits and two runs.
Marquez has walked 12 batters in 18⅔ innings, so there’s that. He faced the Cubs twice last year. The start in Colorado, May 10, was excellent — eight shutout innings. In the other one, June 9 at Wrigley Field, he threw 81 pitches in three innings.
In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.